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How Your Brain Works: VIDEO


Are you fast thinking or slow thinking this Friday afternoon?


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  1. It would be more effective as a science video without the Moses/Noah bit. Seriously Noah didn't take any animals on any ark either. Attributing reality to myths is not the role of science.

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 1, 2013 2:53:45 PM

  2. The math flashcards were poorly explained or incorrect. I also would like someone to explain the baseball bat/ball 5 cent pricing disparity given that he stated that the bat cost 10 cents more than the ball. You can't come up with a 5 cent difference and say that's 10 cents.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 1, 2013 3:21:44 PM

  3. Paul-The video says that the bat costs ONE DOLLAR more than the ball, not 10 cents more. The bat is $1.05 and the ball is .05. Most people will say 10 cents for the cost of the ball without trying to do the actual math.

    I actually belong in thinking #2 for most things. I was a programmer through high school and you do have to think about not only your left leg moving, but how each joint and muscle must work to move your left leg.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Feb 1, 2013 3:32:32 PM

  4. Thank you, Richard. I knew that there was a logical solution, and it was driving me nuts because I'm an idiot savant with arithmetic and the written word but less so with understanding vocal statements. (It's why I'm a writer who works from home.) I appreciate the clarification.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 1, 2013 3:38:21 PM

  5. Fast thinking describes most political discussions these days.

    The baseball question was expressed on-screen as Bat+Ball = $1.10, which is not the same as Bat-Ball = $1.00. The first has 10 solutions and the latter and infinite number of solutions, but when you combine both statements you can have only one solution because 2 Bats = $2.10, so 1 Bat = $1.05, leaving the Ball = $0.05. However, only seeing one equation on screen was a bit misleading.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 1, 2013 4:39:54 PM

  6. @Rob: the Moses/Noah example is fine. The point is that they are both Biblical characters,both 4 letters long. If you asked "How many animals did Abernathy take on the arc," you would have been more likely to notice that something was off. They merely used a well-known story. It could just as easily have been something about Santa Claus or something from Star Wars.

    BTW, I once saw a funny drawing (card, tee shirt, or something) with a picture of animals boarding the arc two by two, and a tyrannosaurus rex at the end of the line, and Noah saying, "Damn."

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 1, 2013 5:45:59 PM

  7. Bill, Moses has 5 letters, not 4.

    In any case, myths rarely belong in a science video. A better example could and should have been chosen. Besides, it assumes a Christian audience, excluding particularly those with Native or Eastern background.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 1, 2013 7:18:32 PM

  8. @Randy - while I didn't look that closely due to feeling a bit off today, whether it is 4 or 5 doesn't really matter - it is short enough and both are two syllables.

    The result they were illustrating was about perception and how the brain processes information based on what is already stored. A Biblical example is just fine for that - Noah's arc is part of our culture, regardless of whether one thinks it is a myth (a few apparently don't).

    If you want to, however, try a simple experiment. Reproduce the card with Moses on it alone, and then a copy with Abernathy substituted for Moses, and run the cards past 10 people each. Then count how many people see something wrong with each card after a quick look.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 1, 2013 7:42:41 PM

  9. I think the use of a common story in Western Civilization is just fine for a video aimed at said group. It has the added advantage of conjuring up a pleasant image.

    @Randy - How about a Jewish audience?

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Feb 1, 2013 10:42:03 PM

  10. My fast thinking brain interpreted the comments as fun, my slow thinking brain thought otherwise. Moses Schmoses! Zeesh.

    Posted by: Eddie | Feb 2, 2013 6:57:44 PM

  11. Just to add to the flames:

    It's "ark," not "arc."

    An "arc" is part of a circle. An "ark" is a container to safeguard something. Thus, it's Noah's "ark" and the "Ark" of the Covenant.

    Posted by: Rrhain | Feb 4, 2013 4:05:34 PM

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